Clare Conrad is a ceramicist whose work captures the poignant beauty and drama of weathering and corrosion - the point of balance between existence and decay. Clare finds the vessel form the most satisfying to use and enjoys the traditional method of wheel-throwing, which adds to the sense of capturing time.
'For many years I have experimented with methods of colour application to the surface of my pots, having been entranced by the peeling paint and sun-faded natural colours in Southern Europe. In recent years, living near the coast has added a contrasting strand to my work - stark, white chalk, deep green/blue sea, erosion and the natural colours and markings of flints'.
Clare uses vitreous slips, which she mixes with primary pigments; in this way achieving an infinite palette of subtle colours, which she applies to the exterior surface in layers, whilst the pot is still damp. The expressive, apparent randomness of the design belies the laborious and careful method necessary to achieve it.
Concentration is of the essence, as the ratio of dampness of pot to slip is crucial and the resulting colour is not revealed until after the final firing. The interior matt glaze is formulated to complement and provide a dramatic contrast to the rugged exterior. Clare likes to make fine-walled pots, so stoneware firing ensures that the piece is strong and durable.
Ceramic Art London - The Royal College of Art, London
Porthminster Gallery - St Ives, Cornwall
The Bowie Gallery at Hay Festival - Hay on Wye - Hay on Wye, Nr Hereford
Tim Andrews Gallery - Clay 21 - Woodbury, Devon
Bevere Gallery, Worcester
South West Arts Project Award - 1995
Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery
Leeds City Art Galleries
Many private collections in the UK and abroad